grilled mackerel with almond-ginger-mustard butter
photo by Katie Stoops
For a more dramatic presentation, serve it family style by transferring the whole grilled fish to a serving board or platter, spooning butter over top.
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons slivered or sliced almonds
1 tablespoon water
1 Spanish or Boston mackerel (about 2 pounds), gutted and cleaned
1 lemon, sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt, to taste
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
Place mustard seeds in a small bowl and add enough hot water to cover. Allow to soak for 2 hours. Drain and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add butter, garlic, and ginger and cook for a few minutes, until garlic is softened but not browned. Add mustard seeds, almonds, and water and cook until water is evaporated and almonds are just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat until ready to use, reheating as needed just before serving.
Place lemon slices and thyme sprigs inside cavity of mackerel. Season outside of fish with salt.
Preheat charcoal grill to medium heat, with coals only on one side of bottom. Place prepared fish on hot part of grill and cook until skin begins to crisp, about 5 minutes. Carefully lift entire grill grate and rotate it so fish rests opposite hot coals. Cover grill and continue to cook over indirect heat until fish is cooked through, about 25 minutes. You can check doneness by making an incision along backbone and checking color of flesh at spine; it should be opaque white.
Remove fish with a couple of metal spatulas, taking care to get under as much of fish as possible, and transfer to a plate. Fillet fish by using a fork and knife. Divide among 4 plates, then drizzle each with a bit of warmed butter mixture. Serve with lemon wedges.
cook’s note: If using a gas grill, preheat all burners to high. Place fish on one side of hot grates. Once it begins to char around edges, turn off burner directly under fish. Cover and continue to cook over indirect heat until fish is cooked through, about 25 minutes.